Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Henry Napier McRae

Henry Napier M'RaeYounger brother of Archibald Spiers M'Rae, Henry, appears to have surpassed him in terms of fame, through the saving of lives, winning medals and contributing to favourable outcomes in famous battles.

Linley and Jim Hooper neatly summarise Henry's military career and further relations. An extract is below:

Henry Napier MacRae CBE
b. 27 January 1851, d. 18 January 1915

Henry Napier MacRae CBE was born on 27 January 1851 at Ferozepore/Firozpur, Lahore, Punjab, India. He was the son of Surgeon Major James McRae (b. 1803 Edinburgh), Indian Army. He was educated privately.

Henry Napier MacRae CBE appeared on the 1861 census at 'The Poplars', Figs Marsh, Mitcham, Surrey. Archibald S McRae, 14, born Benares, India & Henry N McRae, 10, born Ferzapor, scholars, were boarders with Albert Grover, schoolmaster.

Henry Napier MacRae CBE appeared on the 1871 census at Royal Engineers & Royal Engineer Dept, Aldershot, Hampshire. Henry Napier McRae, visitor, unmarried, 20, Ensign 8th Regt Infantry, born India.

He served in the Indian Army from 1871 to 1914. He received his first commission in the 8th Foot on 25 March 1871; Lieutenant 28 October 1871; Bengal Staff Corps 15 August 1874 with the 45th Bengal Infantry; Captain 25 March 1883; Major 7 December 1888; Lt Col 25 March 1897; Commandant of 45th Regt 19 April 1899; CB 20 May 1898. Served in Afghanistan 1787-80, North West Frontier 1884, Hazara 1888, North West Frontier 1897-8 (dispatches twice, medal with two clasps, CB); ADC to Queen Victoria and Edward VII; North West Frontier 1901-2 (despatches).

silver medalFrederick neglects to tell us of this in favour of fond memory concerning Archibald who was nearer his age. It is out of character for Frederick's pride not to make use of such association and so it is left to us and others including Winston Churchill to document these daring escapades. The Strand magazine documents the gripping account that persuaded The Royal Humane Society to provide the silver medal:

Silver medal textFollow the links for some more smashing pictures of Henry at the Siege of Malakand and Churchill's account, himself a second Lieutenant in the relief force.

The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893, An Illustrated Monthly The Medal of the Royal Humane Society
Jim & Linley's family pages

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